Serious concerns raised about unkept cemetery

Updated: 05/14/2014 8:29 AM | Created: 05/13/2014 10:29 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Reporter's Notebook: It's difficult for many of us to imagine death.  In fact, many of us flat out don't want to think about the inevitable.  But we all know the truth that comes with living….it ends eventually.  Most people hope that our final resting place is on some tidy, well groomed piece of Earth.  Some pay lots of money for burial plots, especially ones that come with perpetual care. 

Phil Ortega contacted us with serious concerns about Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Southeast Albuquerque.  His parents are buried there and he purchased a plot for himself years ago so that he could be next to them in death.  Ortega visits the cemetery often and has noticed deterioration in the grounds' conditions. 

Ortega acknowledges that cemeteries are for the dead, but he doesn't think that should extend to the grass, trees, and flowers as well.  Weeds have taken over much of the lawn and the grounds have an apparent gopher problem.  There are holes everywhere, some that tunnel under headstones.

The non-perpetual care side of the cemetery is overrun by tall weeds, many taller than the tombstones.  Some of the headstones are falling over, broken, or covered by dirt. 

Ortega took his concerns to management.  In an email, Location Manager Dee Martinez wrote, "I can say that the cemetery has been neglected for the past 10 or so years.  I can assure you we are working on our grounds on a daily basis."

You want your final resting place to be in a little piece of heaven, but some parts of Fairview Memorial Park look like hell.

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